This week I was speaking to a client about values and from this came a conversation about ‘happiness vampires’.
‘What are these I asked?’
She went on to tell me they are the people and things that suck the good stuff and the happy vibes out of you and leave you feeling, well, a bit shit.
This really got me thinking.
How many happiness vampires do I have in my life?
What makes me feel less than great?
What do I take on that I know I shouldn’t?
I even wondered if I am a happiness vampire?
How about you – do you experience this in yourself or others?
Let’s face, at the moment we can all get sucked into rabbit holes of despair, and with the news agenda changing faster than ever, it is hard to know what’s going to come our way next.
But, there are things we can actively do to stop those pesky vampires coming along and taking all the goodness away.
While it is impossible to escape every bit of toxicity in our lives, we can take it down a notch or two.
Negativity may come along, but we can dial down that noise and make it more of a dull rumble than a full on thunderstorm that causes chaos and totally rains on our parade.
So, what are those pesky happiness vampires and how do we deal with them?
Saying yes when you mean no
Saying yes to something you just don’t want to do is a sure fire way to let those vampires lose on your happiness stocks. There are always things we have to do that may not light up our lives – putting the bins out, shopping for school shoes and paying bills – but when it’s not essential, we often have a choice and if we say yes, but really mean no, it can have an impact. Working for free or less than your fee, picking up the slack for a colleague (again) and taking on a tech client when your passion is in the wedding industry are all sure fire ways to energise those happiness vampires and leave you feeling less than great.
I love social media, it’s a great way to stay connected and keep in touch, but there are happiness vampires lurking around likes and inside DMs. If you are getting tripped up, start to leave groups where the noise is too much and unfollow businesses and people who trigger less than happy feelings from you. I am not saying that you can’t go back and find them again, but if you feel that everytime you see posts for someone specific it drags you down, maybe having a break is a good idea. The same goes with the yoga studio that makes you feel lumpy rather than lithe or the cookery instagrammer who puts you to shame with your Pot Noodle as they serve up yet another culinary delight that is organic and bursting with goodness. When someone, or something, inspires you and makes you sparkle, that is great, but when the shine wears off and they zap your feel good vibes, take a break.
I work well to a deadline and the odd late night at my desk is a guilty pleasure hangover from my student days – minus the Red Bull! However, if you are constantly chasing your tail, letting your inbox overflow and need a second sheet of A4 for the to do list that doesn’t seem to get done, maybe there are some work happiness vampires at play? Too much time on FB, that extra cup of tea you made and then watched the news for half an hour (claiming research as a reason) and endless spam clouding your view offering courses, funnels and free shoes, will also take away from your focus and leave you working longer, for less. Try to put some limits in place, work out what must be done each day and if you can add in a few non negotiables that can help you keep on the right side of happiness to be productive.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
I don’t know about you, but I have spent so much time on Zoom, looking at myself and the rest of the world, I am a bit sick of it. As well as having to consider what I am wearing, if I have make up on and what my background looks like, I have to make sure the kids know I am ‘on a call’ and hope the dogs don’t make an appearance during one of their mad moments. Yes, we can’t escape modern meetings, but I do try to keep the number of hours I am online for meetings each day, at a cap. Believe me, seven hours in one day isn’t good and that was a serious happiness vampire for me.
Keeping the comparisons at bay
I will admit that I can fall down the rabbit hole of comparison and it doesn’t do me any favours at all. Spoiler alert – looking at what other people are doing isn’t going to help us get where we want to be, it will keep us where we are or even worse, hold us back totally. Comparison really is a happiness vampire and one we need to get under control. The reality is, there is only one you and one me and that’s what makes us unique. Yes, there are lots of other PR people, lots of influencers, loads of journalists but they work with you in your own unique way. Cut out the comparing and you might be surprised at what you can really do when you are staying in your lane, not trying to merge into someone else’s.
Being busy and rushing around are often worn with a badge of pride, but when you think about it, being on the go all the time really can zap your happiness. Yes, we all have a lot to do, but taking time out to recharge is really important. I am not talking about an all inclusive holiday on a paradise island (can we even do this at the moment?), but the small things that can help you to recharge and find a moment of call. A HOT cup of coffee, a walk on the beach, turning off social media once in a while, reading a book or just having a bath.
So, the next time you feel that happiness vampire coming your way, see what’s really going on and don’t get tripped up by their devious ways, and if you feel that a coaching session, or two, with me could help you get to grips with some of these issues, let me know, I would love to chat.